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1-072 (Raw)

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author,male,Broadside,un addressee
Newspaper Article
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Public Written
Newspapers & Broadsides
Ingleton, 1988
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1-072-raw.txt — 3 KB

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SYDNEY, June 26, 1803.
The following melancholy account has been given by John Place, who now lies in a very weak state in Parramatta Hospital, of an attempt made by him and three of his fellow prisoners, to escape from this Colony to China.
Place who appears to be the only survivor, resigned himself to despair and death, and was when found, within a few hours of eternity.
John Place declares that he, John Cox, William Knight and John Phillips, all prisoners that came in the Glatton formed a resolution to attempt their escape. They formed this determination in consequence of having heard people say on board the Glatton, and while at work at Castle-Hill, that they could get to China, by which means they would obtain their liberty again. Being all married men (except one) they were very anxious to return to their families.
On the seventh of May they left Cornwallis place at the Hawkesbury, resolved to pass the mountains and took with them, only their week's rations, which they received on the Saturday but consumed by the Wednesday following.
After travelling for seventeen days in hopes of passing the mountains, they at last despaired of accomplishing that object and they resolved (if possible) to return. During this time they had found nothing to subsist on but wild-currants and sweet-tea leaves, and had been oppressed with hunger for twelve days.
Being asked in what direction they went, Place says that they travelled the whole of the seventeen days with the sun on their right shoulder, and found great difficulty in ascending some of the mountains.
Before they set off to return, John Phillips left them to gather some berries and they saw him no more; they heard him call several times but could render him no assistance and conclude he perished.
After travelling for upwards of twenty days, all (except Phillips) reached within five miles of Richmond-Hill, when William Knight, unable to proceed any further, lay down, where Place says he must have died.
On the same day Place and Cox made the river above Richmond-Hill, and in attempting to cross the fall the current carried them down. One was carried to one side of the river, the other to the opposite side and with difficulty pulling themselves ashore by the branches of the trees. Cox had only his shirt and shoes on, Place saw him lain along the bank, where being very weak, and the night extremely cold he supposes he died.
Place also lay down, despairing of life and was found on the following day by a man, who, with some of the natives was in quest of kangaroos. He was then too weak to walk alone, but was led by the natives to the nearest hut.
The above awful admonition will deter all others who now do or shall in future, entertain any idea of regaining their liberty by a similiar act, in which nothing but inevitable death must be the final event. It should be needless to add that CHINA DOES NOT LAY BEYOND THE MOUNTAINS.